Five Types of Blog Posts You Should Be Writing

“Useful & Enjoyable & Inspired = Innovative Content.”

@MarketingProfs
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By Jess Dixon

Last week, I told you why you need a blog and all the benefits that blogging can bring to your business.

“That’s all well and good,” you might be saying, “but just what the heck do I write on it now I’ve set it up!?” The key to leveraging blogging for business growth is to provide consistently, regular, and high-quality content that keeps readers coming back to your site again and again.

Never fear! Read on to learn about five essential types of content you should absolutely be sharing on your blog.

Practical advice and how-to

Advice and how-to posts form the bread and butter of many blogs, and for good reason. Readers love them. One of the best ways to offer value to your readers is to help them solve a problem or answer a burning question.

How-to articles can take the form of listicles (like this one) where you include a number of tips and tricks in a list format. They can also be presented as step-by-step guides, walking them through exactly how to implement a particular solution or new process.

Not sure what kind of advice your readers might want? Luckily, data is your friend! Use your Google Search Console to see the search terms that people are using to find your site. Those are a good place to start. You should also think about the kind of questions you get asked most often. Chances are, if two or more people have asked you for advice on the same thing, there are a lot of others out there wondering about it, too!

Case studies

Case-studies are real life examples which illustrate a wider point or demonstrate the value of a product or service. But case studies must not be purely promotional – if they read like sales pitches in disguise, your readers will soon get turned off.

Charities and non-profit organisations use case studies to great effect. Think about the last request for a donation you received from a charity (whether by letter, email, or a social media post.) Chances are, it includes at least one case-study that brings to life the problem the charity is trying to solve, and the ways that your contribution can help them do so.

Humans are driven in large part by emotion, and telling a great story is the best way to invoke a particular emotional response.

Businesses can use case-study based storytelling, too. Do you know a business who came up with an innovative solution to survive the COVID-19 crisis? An entrepreneur who revolutionised their sales process with a new piece of software? Someone who is using social media in an unusual but effective way?

Chances are, you do. As long as the case study relates to your industry and area of expertise in some way, it’s valuable content. If the solution to the problem involved your product or service somehow, then so much the better.

Industry news and views

It’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening within your industry, both locally and further afield. It’s a good idea to subscribe to relevant Google alerts and follow industry hashtags on social media.

Has a company in your industry come out with a new game-changing product or solution? Write about it and what it means for you or your customers. Does a new law impact the way you, or the people you work with, do business? How do current events change the landscape in your sector?

Remember to explain things in the simplest and most jargon-free language you can, as not everyone in your audience will be experts in your field. And don’t forget to inject your own opinion into the mix!

Behind-the-scenes

Behind-the-scenes content is what humanises your business. It allows people a glimpse behind the curtain to see how things work on a day to day basis.

For a freelancer or solopreneur, you might do “day in the life of me” posts, or round-ups of things you’ve been watching, reading, or listening to recently. If you go to any interesting events or conferences, you can write about those. If you make big changes, such as renovating your offices or moving to new premises, documenting those can be a fun way to share the journey with your audience. And if you have a larger team, consider allowing each member to do a “takeover” post where they share insight into who they are, what they do, and what their daily work life looks like.

Promotional

I’ve left this one until last deliberately. Yes, your blog should contain promotional content, but it should be woven organically in with everything else. If your posts are aggressively “salesy,” people just won’t read them. Do too many of these, and they’ll unsubscribe from your newsletter or stop coming to your site.

Promotional blog posts should be used strategically. Each one should have a specific purpose, and ideally be tied to a specific time-frame (e.g., a limited-time sale linked to a specific holiday, or the release of tickets for an event you’re organising.) You can also do new product announcements, and occasional “spotlights” on particular products. Remember to focus on benefit and value. No-one cares that you think your product is the best thing since sliced bread. They care that it will help them solve a problem or fulfil a need.

I advise using the 10% rule: no more than 1 in 10 of your blog posts should be explicitly promotional in nature.

Your blog can be a great asset to your business if you use it strategically and creatively. Hopefully these suggestions have given you some ideas to get you started!

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